Rock The Boat Audio

Video: How To Find Speakers That Fit On Your Boat

By Matt Champneys

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When looking to replace the flush mount marine speakers in your boat, you might think that there are standard sizes and all you have to do is pick out the size you need regardless of the brand. If only it was that easy! Unfortunately it is a lot more complicated than that.

Check out this 6 1/2" speaker from Magnadyne. Now look at this 6 1/2" speaker from Fusion. Can you see the difference in the width of the grill?

I know what you are thinking. There must be a mistake. How can those both be 6 1/2" speakers?

Well, when a manufacturer calls it a 6 1/2" speaker, they aren't talking about the diameter of the grill or even the size of the cutout hole it requires for mounting. They are referring to the diameter of the speaker cone inside. Even though these speakers have different sized grills, they both have the same sized cone.

Why is the cone size important? Well, the vibration of the cone inside the speaker is what creates the sound and the size of the cone is directly related to the audio quality that the speaker produces.

You may be thinking, "Great, but how does that help me choose a speaker that fits?" Well, it doesn't, exactly, and that is the problem. Cone size, does not determine the installation size and installation size will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and even speaker model to speaker model. as you can see.

The cone size of a speaker can get you in the ballpark, but it is not a guarantee that it will fit as a replacement. You really need to look at the exact installation measurements of any potential new speakers and compare them with your old speakers.

The most important measurement to consider is actually not the diameter of the grill, but the diameter of the cutout hole that the speaker fits into. Specifications of old speakers are often not readily available, and since there is no way to determine the diameter of the cutout hole just by looking at the grill, your best bet is to pull one of the old speakers out and actually measure the hole. Then you can compare it to the measurements of potential replacements that we have on our web site.

You may be willing to enlarge the cutout holes to accommodate new speakers, but there is one lesson that is often learned the hard way. "It's a lot easier to make a hole bigger than it is to make it smaller!"

Knowledge is power, and accurate measurements can make your speaker installation easy and hassle free!